We are all familiar with the song ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ which itemises a long list of gifts which the singer received from his (or her) ‘true love’ each day from the 25th December up until Three Kings Day on the 6th January.
There are a whole raft of theories as to what the original song represented and whether it was meant, perhaps, as an aide memoire to Christians, depicting the most significant events within their faith. The more generally held belief, however, is that it is a simple song which was designed as a memory and forfeits game at the end of the 18th Century.
Whatever its origin the song contains an impressive menu of gifts which would cost a pretty penny to buy or organise in this current age (apparently someone with too much time on their hands valued it at around £40,000). Whilst we at The Awards People are a generous bunch we’re not blessed with an infinite budget, so instead we thought we’d offer our lovely readers ‘The 12 Ways of Winning’ when it comes to an awards entry (which, to be honest, will be much more valuable anyway!).
From the first to the twelfth day of Christmas the wise words we’d like to give to you are;
- Choice – choose your award carefully considering how it fits into your strategy, how important it is to your target market and how many key influencers it gets you in a room with…
- Date – pay attention to the key dates for your award; the entry deadline, the finals, the presentation night and make sure that none clash with existing commitments
- Previous winners – look into who has won your chosen award in the past and for what in particular. This will give you a good idea of what achievements impressed the judges
- Judges – do a little bit of research into who will be judging the category and you may be able to glean an idea of their own experience and what might resonate with them
- Sponsors – in a similar way to researching the judges it often pays to look at who the award sponsors are as businesses and individuals tend to sponsor awards which they can relate to
- Planning – make sure you plan sufficient time to scope out, write, review, refine, check and submit – preferably away from the distractions of day-to-day tasks
- Questions – pay close attention to the questions within the application and make sure your submission answers everything you have been asked in turn and doesn’t simply ramble
- Word count – use the allocated number of words to the max but make sure you do not exceed the limit as in some awards this can mean instant disqualification
- Checking – schoolboy errors may sometimes be overlooked but they never make a good impression so pay attention to punctuation, spelling and grammar
- Double-checking – just like Santa you should be checking it twice (at least!) so as well as the basics consider things like repetition, word flow and keeping it interesting
- Independent opinions – don’t shy away from enlisting the help of friends and colleagues and get them to read through your entry and tell you what they think
- Deadline – many a great entry has fallen at the final hurdle when the deadline comes and time runs out so make sure the deadline is prominently displayed in your calendar
Whilst there’s not a single sign of a partridge in a pear tree, we hope our top tips give you the inspiration and guidance you need to succeed. Of course, if you would like to hear just a little more advice (we promise we won’t sing!) then get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org